1) What was Sam's best win of the year?
I guess the win against Serena in the US Open Final comes in mind first for obvious reasons. Beating pissed-off Serena in New York city, in Arthur Ashe, 2 and 3 is kind of impossible to forget and overlook. And her wins against Petrova and Kirilenko at the USO were also very impressive, both exciting and dramatic.
2) What was Sam's worst loss of the year
Wimbledon 1st round.
3) What fictional character does Sam remind you of?
I would pick the character of Sarah Connor from the Terminator films, played by Linda Hamilton. In the first film, Sarah is an ordinary and timid person, certainly not tough. She is a woman who needs protection. And then, in Terminator 2 she rises to the challenge. The timid victim has been transformed into a muscular woman, a warrior, a survivor. I think she is the embodiment of a female fighter in fiction. And yet, there are scenes in the film when you can still see the vulnerability behind the muscles. I think it's the same thing with Sam. The timid player who could be blown off the court a few years ago has become a fighter, a survivor, a major threat for the best players of the game, because she belongs among the best IMHO.
4) If you had to describe Sam's year in the form of a song, which song would it be?
"Standind on top of the world" by Sarah Connor (it's a funny coincidence, I know).
I think Sam proved many people wrong this year.
5) What was Sam's most under-rated win of the year?
Both wins against Vera on clay and grass, after being a set down and again the win against her at the USO QF, a match she was meant to win according to everyone.
6) Which of Sam's losses were you most impressed with?
The loss against Kvitova at the YEC. She took the first set and she managed to make a threat in the third, after being 5-0 down.
7) What part of Sam's game has improved most throughout the year?
First of all, I would say mental toughness. The matches against Nadia/Makiri/Serena at the USO prove this. And then it's the defence, the movement, the backhand.
8) What would you like to see Sam work on in the future?
9) What's the one match you wish Sam had won, that she didn't?
The final against Masha in Rome.
10) What do you predict in 2012 for Sam (ranking, tournmanets, H2Hs with particular players etc.)?
She will definately enter the top 5 close to the beginning of the season and she will remain in the top 5 for the rest of the year. I believe she will win 3-5 tournaments, including a slam (probably not Wimbledon
), just to see people stop saying she has only won 3 singles titles. As for H2Hs, I can see her beating again Masha, since she cracked the Masha code in the YEC. She also took a set off Kvitova, so a win will follow very soon. And if she can beat Masha and Petra, I don't see why she can't beat Vika too. These are my predictions and I do not think they are bold, considering the year she's had. My wish is that she stays healthy and mentally strong. Then the wins and the titles will follow, as I predict.
Yes, this is my first post and hopefully not the last. No, I don't know why it took me so long.
Hi and nice to meet everybody!